Friday, December 11, 2015

Families Can Be Together Forever

On Tuesday, Robert Jaramillo spied these two men preparing the base for the statue.  The next day, they drilled big holes.  And then. . . the wait was on.
This morning, the statue arrived!  On the left is the artist, Dennis Smith of Alpine, and his wife Veloy.  They are talking with John Emory, the project manager for Jacobsen.
The statue is bronze and was finished only in the last week or so.
My first thought when I saw the family was that they were bundled up for the cold weather.
But no, these were straps to lift and move the statue.
I had my gloves on, so I didn't mind waiting.
In no time, the statue was in the air.
Posts were affixed to the base.
These men, cooperating with the lift operator, moved the statue to the base.
Brother Smith is on the right, photographing their efforts.
They were being extremely careful.
No one wanted to make a mistake at this point.
Easy does it.
This part took a few minutes, but finally it was in place!
And then the lift operator raised it.  Uh oh, I thought.
Our friend Rob Jaramillo was with me at this point.  We wondered what was happening.
We saw people at the east gate, so we walked over there while the statue just hung in the air.
Only then did we see these men mixing expandable concrete.  Typically, concrete shrinks when it hardens.  This concrete is special and does just the opposite.
At the gate, I was introduced to Dennis Smith, who I hadn't met before this moment.
I was very pleased to meet him and his wife Veloy.
Their granddaughter's family members were the models for the statue.  Meet Kinley, Ellie and Conrad Beckstrand. Kinley was a toddler when her great-grandfather began the sculpture.
Somewhere in that timeline, Gunnar joined their family.
The Smith's daughter Rachel LaComb was also at the site this morning.  Granddaughter Aly was inside the fence.  Granddaughter Anna missed a little school for this wonderful event.
In the 1970s, Brother Smith was the artist for this and other statues in Nauvoo.  Copies are also at the Spain and Seattle Temples.  Our Provo City Center Temple statue is a newer version.
The placing of the statue was the last thing on my unofficial punch list.
It's perfect.


JayBingham said...


Unknown said...

Beautiful and so fitting a tribute to pioneers and their posterity. I am blessed to be a recipient of their sacrifices to establish the Church here so that I and my family can enjoy the blessing of temples and the gospel.

littlejon said...

Is there a way to get larger format copies of some of these images. I'd love to use some of them as computer backgrounds, for a screen saver, etc. I'd even pay for a good collection of them, if you wanted.

Julie Markham said...

Email me at and we'll talk. No charge.